Spain’s high rise to stardom

LAST UPDATED: 11 Feb, 2010 @ 11:22
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Spain’s high rise to stardom

IT was the “concrete tree” that enraged purists and led to widespread criticism.

But now apartments in the Torres Blancas – Madrid’s controversial high-rise block – can fetch prices of up to one million euros.

It is even mooted by recent reports that Hollywood star John Malkovich has splashed out on a flat in the concrete giant that was built in the 1960s.

And the building’s rise to fame was complete when cult American director Jim Jarmusch shot a scene of his latest movie there.

However, such stardom is a far cry from the hardships Francisco Saenz de Oiza’s labour of love endured 40 years ago.

As its plural name suggests, a second tower was due to be built which never got off the ground.

Javier confirmed that he has seen Malkovich hopping into one of the tower’s elevators.

“The authorities didn’t like the architecture and kept putting obstacles in the way,” explained Oiza’s son, Javier.

Now just three flats are for sale in the tower – even the smallest apartments are valued at 500,000 euros.

Previously popular with aeroplane pilots due to its proximity to Madrid airport, the Torres Blancas are now attracting a very different kind of clientele.

Javier confirmed that he has seen Malkovich hopping into one of the tower’s elevators.

That is certainly a lift to the big time.

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